Are You “WELL” Versed? Take A(nother) Look at the WELL Building Standard

COVID-19 has caused building and business owners to consider what constitutes a healthy workplace. Because of that, many are looking to the WELL Building Standard as a guide.

Administered by the International Well Building Institute (IWBI), the WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based approach to enhancing the health and wellness, and therefore performance, of a building’s occupants.  Launched in 2014, the standard identifies performance metrics, design strategies and policies that can be implemented by owners, designers, architects, engineers, contractors, and end users of a building.

The original WELL Building Standard, Version 1, was published in February 2015 and has been tweaked over time on a quarterly basis.  The current WELL Building Standard, Version 2, improves upon the original by making WELL more flexible and possible for all types of projects throughout the world. Some of the key modifications differentiating Version 2 include:


  • One Scorecard. Version 2 of the WELL Building Standard has one scorecard for all project types. This single scorecard streamlines various scorecards for different project types into one unified scorecard.  Doing so enables the WELL Standard to be flexible enough to accommodate all kinds of project types – even those without the “specific scorecards” that were part of Version 1.
  • The WELL Building Standard Version 2 is organized into 10 Concepts, an expansion from the original seven Concepts in Version 1. Each Concept in Version 2 is sub-divided into Features which are either Preconditions or Optimizations:
    • Preconditions are mandatory features required to achieve WELL certification. One of the biggest changes between Version 1 and Version 2 is the significant reduction in Preconditions, making the WELL Building Standard now more achievable for most project types.
    • Optimizations are those optional features that companies may choose to implement. WELL Version 2 significantly increases the number of optimizations available. These optimizations are designed so projects can pick and choose wellness goals and interests that better integrate with any project type, design and operation without sacrificing the documented scientific rigor behind the WELL Building Standard. Additionally, parts within optimizations only can now be pursued individually.  Each part carries a distinct point value that can be used to achieve Optimization points. (Under WELL Version 1, a project had to achieve all parts of a Feature in order to achieve the point value.)

In future posts, we’ll look at certification requirements for the WELL Building Standard, as well as the 10 Concepts in greater detail.  In the meantime, for more information about the Standard visit or contact Hixson.


WELL Building Standard

WELL Stats

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